ScienceDaily. After medical marijuana became legal in Massachusetts, cannabis-related poison control calls involving the commonwealth’s children and teenagers doubled, according to a public health investigation led by University of Massachusetts Amherst injury prevention researcher Jennifer Whitehill.
The increase in calls to the Regional Center for Poison Control and Prevention at Boston Children’s Hospital occurred despite legislative mandates for childproof packaging and warning labels, and before the recreational use of marijuana was legalized for adults.
“As states across the country enact more permissive marijuana policies, we need to do more to promote safe storage in households with children,” says Whitehill, assistant professor of health promotion and policy and lead author of the research published in JAMA Network Open.
During the study period, the poison control center received 218 calls from Massachusetts involving cannabis exposure in children and teens, from infancy to age 19, including 98 single-substance calls and 120 polysubstance calls. Those calls represented 0.15 percent of all poison control calls during that time period for that age group.